People who are fond of impressionist art know how much the French painter Claude Monet (1840-1926) loved his home and his gardens in Giverny in the Normandy region, and how much those places inspired him. His iconic Water Lilies (Nymphéas) series of about 250 oil paintings was created there over a thirty-year timespan until his death.
In his gardens, Monet interpreted pictorially not only the water lilies growing in the pond, but the many flowers, as well as the Japanese bridge and a weeping willow tree. He did so throughout the year, to reflect seasonal subtleties.
As the painter’s eyesight was increasingly undermined by a cataract, his artmaking evolved gradually over time from a rather realistic style to a strongly impressionist character. Dismayed by the horrors of the First World War, Monet conceived his garden and his body of artwork as a visual and emotional safe heaven.
My water lily garden
I enjoy my water lily garden, close to my home in Switzerland. Although it is not my legal property, I cherish the place enough to consider it as my garden. The pond is home to thousands of reeds, hundreds of water lilies, dozens of willow trees, as well as countless other plants and flowers. It hosts fishes, ducks, frogs and other animals. The path around the pond is enhanced by a little wooden bridge – nearly as cute as a curved Japanese bridge.
What follows is a homage to Claude Monet through my photography. The ten pictures were created in winter and summer periods. Their finish evokes impressionist oil painting, to underline the interplay between both visual arts.
We all shall count on a visual and emotional safe heaven against the dark tones of our world.